BIRDS Eye is looking east with two new Indian ready meals. Chicken Balti and Chicken Tikka Masala are based on restaurant favourites, and come in revamped packaging. Both include a portion of rice to make a complete meal in a box.
Thai tastes are also in demand, and visible in Birds Eye products such as Fish Chargrills With Thai Coconut, Lemongrass & Chilli and Bake To Perfection King Prawns with a Sweet Chilli Sauce. Cheryl Calverley, general marketing manager, said: “This year has seen a trend towards Asian cuisine – food with exciting flavour combinations that also offer consumers a light, healthier meal option.”
• Restaurant favourites are also in evidence at Premier Foods brand Sharwoods. Jon Burton, category marketing director, cooking sauces, sees the trend for cooking and dining at home driving demand for ethnic sauces, kits and condiments.
“With the impact of austerity measures still firmly influencing the ‘stay at home’ meal occasion versus ‘dining out’, Sharwood’s vast range of sauces, noodles and accompaniments gives consumers the opportunity to recreate a wide range of oriental restaurant favourites, to share with friends and family within their own home,” Burton said.
• Bachelors is adding two flavours of couscous to its Deli Box range. Spicy Chicken and Roasted Vegetable, packaged in New York takeaway-style boxes, are intended to appeal to female consumers; with less than 2% fat per box, they’re pitched as a healthy addition to quick and easy meal ranges.
The product will be on shelf next month. RRP is £1.19.
• Thai food sales are growing at 5.6% year on year, according to Thai Taste. Carine Gauyet, associate marketing director with brand owner Empire Bespoke Foods, said: “The authentic Thai Taste brand, which is the fastest growing brand in the category, is in the perfect position to take advantage and c-store owners should be looking to capitalise.”
• The big-night-in trend has been a boon for frozen mini ethnic snacks, according to manufacturer Daloon. It quotes Kantar figures showing that Scotland’s market share of frozen ethnic snack foods by value increased by 11% in the January to March of this year.
• Amira Foods is aiming to reinvigorate the dry (as opposed to microwave) rice category in the UK with a range of what it calls “top-quality, premium products,” supported by a multi-million pound marketing spend. It claims its Pure Basmati and Superior Aromatic varieties will offer consumers something they have not experienced before.